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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Zimmermann seeing small town American friendliness

  • Darius Zimmermann is from Munich, Germany, which has a population of more than 1.3 million, and that means there are neighborhoods where he calls home that have more people than Redwood Falls has....
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  • Darius Zimmermann is from Munich, Germany, which has a population of more than 1.3 million, and that means there are neighborhoods where he calls home that have more people than Redwood Falls has.
    “At first it was hard, because it is so much smaller here,” said Zimmermann, who arrived in Minnesota in early September. “Now, I like it.”
    Zimmermann, who is staying with the Chris and Kelly Schmitz family, said he is enjoying what he has experienced so far in the place he is going to be calling home for the next nine months.
    “Everyone here is very friendly,” he said, adding Redwood Falls is really a nice town.
    Like other foreign exchange students, Zimmermann wanted to come to the United States to learn about a new culture and to improve on his English speaking skills. The 16-year-old high school sophomore has been studying English for five years and said he has been able to communicate pretty well in his first couple of weeks in Minnesota.
    In Munich, Zimmermann said getting anywhere requires the use of public transportation.
    That is not the case here.
    “People drive a lot more here,” he said. “When you need to go somewhere, someone just says they will give you a ride.
    “Back home when I want to visit a friend I have to take the subway or something like that.”
    As a student at RVHS, Zim-mermann is taking a unique variety of classes from woods and health to strength and conditioning, English and American History.
    “In Germany you don’t get to choose your classes,” he said, adding it is nice to be able to say what he wanted to study and then actually be able to do it.
    While Zimmermann is not involved in any activities outside of school right now, he said he is keeping his options open for the rest of the school year.
    The son of Winfried Zimmer-mann and Heike Zimmermann said many people in Europe want to visit America.
    Other friends are also spending time this year abroad, and he said while he chose the U.S. they are in places such as New Zealand and Uruguay.
    Zimmermann admitted he knew very little about Minnesota before he arrived, adding what he knew was that it was cold. (September has been a bit of a surprise, then.)
    Zimmermann said he is not required to repeat this school year when he returns to Germany, and with two years left after this he is thinking about his future – possibly as an architect.
    Prior to returning to Germany, Zimmermann said there is the possibility he is going to visit a friend who now lives in the United States.
    Page 2 of 2 - Zimmermann is having a good time and is looking forward to the rest of his experience.

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